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Discussion Starter #1
Someone locally is advertising durocs for sale. Wondering about the breed for meat and ease of care/cost to raise.

We are in a cold, northern climate. What would we need to successfully raise a healthy pig or two for meat (and maybe milk??)?
 

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Do you mean to say that you are planning to milk pigs? I wish you the best with that! LOL
 

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Not necessarily but if I could that would be a bonus. I've read up on different types of milk and pig is supposed to be very good for people. I do know at least one gal locally who has done it but I think she did it for the pig & piglets more than for herself!

Anyway, looking mostly for meat.
 

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Well The breed is reported to have been started in NY & NJ states Try looking Breeds of livestock on google. then go to the web page for Okla. University. They list hogs /sheep/goats And cattle as well as Horse breeds.!!
 

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farmergirl said:
Do you mean to say that you are planning to milk pigs? I wish you the best with that! LOL
I'll have you know that milk from sows is very rich and nutritious!!! We have the only licensed Grade A hog dairy in the state of Texas; by Spring of next year we hope to be producing swine cheese and butter.The biggest problem is getting the milking units and equipment; they have to be special ordered from a small village in Norway......as a matter of fact, Up North's ancestors come from the area !!!
 

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I am in Michigan and my Duroc grew much faster than the Yorkshire.. She has a great personality too and it will make it harder to eat her LOL but she will sure taste good!
 

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Quote:

The pure red Duroc breed originated in the Northeast. It was orginally a cross between 2 strains of red hogs, one developed in New Jersey, the other in New York. The New York breed was supposedly develped by a man who owned a noted stallion named Duroc and, hence, the name was given to his special hogs. The resulting cross of the 2 breeds was know as Duroc-Jersey but the Jersey was dropped to avoid confusion with the breed of cattle by the same name.

The Duroc breed is always red although the shade may vary from light to dark. They have floppy lop ears.

This breed is highly respected for aggressive, durable boars and productive, prolific females. It has been nicknamed "the growth breed" because the rugged, heavy boned, durable pigs grow to market weight faster than almost any other breed. Durocs adapt well to any environment.

End Quote.

I keep Duroc and Duroc/Large White crosses. I couldn't fault the last paragraph of the quote. If you have access to the breed, go for it. As for milking, I'll stick to cows thanks. Handmilking a sow is bloody hard work and I've only ever done it when I've had to feed sick piglets. I should imagine that any milking plant for a pig would cost an arm and a leg and the cost wouldn't be warranted for personal use. But to each their own.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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If you have someone in your area currently keeping Durocs, they'd be your best bet for how well they do in your area.

We've kept Duroc in years past and they did very well for us in the winter.
 

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I have gone to almost all durocs, the yorks and other breeds I have are because a good customers demands a white cross, My first duroc purchase of 3 gilts and a boar has grwon to over 100 purebreds with papers....I culled everything that wasn't a red hog....I've kept 4 yorks for crossbreeding and have two super chester boars...but as I said...If I had my choice nothing on the farm but durocs...I will have to say....Durocs can have their share of faults -

I see a slight drop in total born alive when bred pure
Tusk growth is more rapid
Boar aggression is awesome for breeding, an issue around novice handlers
Sows grouped together fight more than yorks

And the biggest fault....Large babies...If bred to a young gilt to soon and too small....The gilt cannot carry the load and pigs will have to be pulled.
 

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Some are not as good of milkers as the white breeds, but personally we have NEVER had a problem with that. Ours have been great mothers, hold up well during lactation.
I agree with what Red Hogs says.
If I could sell more red show pigs, I would have them all born red.
 

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Jeez Redhogs you make durocs sound positivly awful. Low birth rate, hyper agressive, fights, cant birth easily? Why bother?
 

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Chichi, I'm sorry you hae caught just one one my posts.... I'm the duroc's biggest fan...but in fairness to someone who is new to the breed I wanted to throw out the drawbacks.

The reasons I want only durocs are:

The champion hog in growth rates.... 140 day averages are not uncommon

Breeding shed aggression is a major asset...Having a boar miss a sow is same as having two piglets die in the financial impact on my farm...No flushing and the deed is done by a lower quality clean-up boar. I have had my best boar sire and drop 4 litters in 12 hours with 10.5 average after only spending one afternoon with the sows and never seeing them again....I have a super chester I spent alot money on and he somedays just wants to lay around when the durocs boars are screaming to get out of their pens. My york boars have always been too laid back also.

The sow fights are just part of the game...They are more aggresive at feeding time...I will cull any hog that will not attack the feeder....
Put a Duroc in with any other breed and look who eats first....Put all durocs and you got total war. This gets back to the faster growth, they eat first and the best.

As to the lower birth rates, the maternal white hogs will average a pig to a pig and a half more on a national scale. This has never kept any white hog in my barn that didn't deserve to be. 11 of crap or 10 or marketable breeding stock and the decision is made.

As to the birthing problems, As with the Angus bulls on heifers.... Durocs are not the best choice for small gilts....This is solved by cross breeding the first go around or culling a small gilt that has no business being bred anyway. Wouldn't you want bigger piglets on every litter you could....

So thats the other side of the coin....As with anything...Good and Bad....No perfect Hogs...I have tried almost every breed I can get.

I've Yorks for sale that spend all day in pond in 102 temp today instead of getting out in the field and eating like the durocs.

The chesters are really good hogs, but just not as marketable yet.

My Large black is disappointing me.... her heat cycles are very unpredictable.

I try to be very critical of my hog lines so that the breeding and culling decisions will make the next crop of hogs better and I will find a new list of faults for them and the process will never end. My enjoyment with hogs is the competition of trying to make them better and go up against other breeders.
 

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90% of the Hogs I have raised were Durocs, I just Am A firm Believer of the breed.My first herd was 7 Durocs, And 2 WhiteX sows. The 2nd was 3 Durocs and A Herford Boar. Made A decent Cross . And I Am wanting A 3rd herd soon. (I ended up selling out Due to Changes in Employment.)
 

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I raised a bunch of Durocs back before I knew much about pigs. They were quite tame. Being the nut I am, I'd harness/leash them and take them for walks. When they saw me, they'd lay down for belly rubs.

When the butcher came out to my place, he could walk right up to the pigs and place his shot easily. He'd alway comment on the great carcass. Not much fat, just enough for great taste. All I fed back then was free choice commercial feed, nothing else. By 5 months old, the pigs were 250 pounds. FWIW, I was told it was due to the pigs being content.

Seems to me that the owner's interaction with his/her critters can have a lot to do with the attitude of any critters.

As far as taste, they were scrumptious. But being a porkaholic, I find any pork delicious as long as it's seasoned to my taste and not rancid! :eek:) I've also found that home grown meat is delicious without any seasoning.
 

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What Rogo say's about training them, Is right. I had them trained. All I did was whistle A tune and if they got lose, They came running..I hope I can get some more Durocs and other hogs in A few months. Theres Nothing better than Having A few.
 

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milkinpigs said:
I'll have you know that milk from sows is very rich and nutritious!!! We have the only licensed Grade A hog dairy in the state of Texas; by Spring of next year we hope to be producing swine cheese and butter.The biggest problem is getting the milking units and equipment; they have to be special ordered from a small village in Norway......as a matter of fact, Up North's ancestors come from the area !!!
Yorkshire Yogurt. Berkshire Butter. Chester Cheese. Once again, Milkinpigs LLC is on the cutting edge.
Bergen is a small village like Texas is a small state :viking:
 

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James, I really didn't 'train' the pigs. Didn't spend a bunch of time with them. From the time they were piglets I just pet them, talked to them whenever I was outside. Earned their trust. Once the trust is earned, I've found I can do anything with any critter, domestic or exotic.

Wish I had some photos of the Hampshire piglet I specifically got for a pet. When he was grown, he hitched to a cart and gave me rides.
 
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